It seems like concrete benchtops are popping up everywhere. Whether you have a traditional or a modern kitchen, you will find that these benchtops can fit in just right. Concrete was once thought to be dull and unexciting, mostly because of its grey colour.
However, times have changed. Concrete has become more interesting and can complement an already existing component. Today, we will take a look at the trends in concrete, specifically benchtops. You can have benchtops in your kitchen, bathroom, or even outdoor space. The concrete benchtops can also be suitable for your office.
A few striking designs and innovations on the material have emerged. For many DIYers, concrete benchtops are a dream because they are easy to install. If you are a budget-minded homeowner, you would be pleased to know that the material is extremely affordable. It is much cheaper compared to natural stone, yet concrete has laudable enduring qualities.
The Growing Appeal of Concrete Benchtops
Concrete benchtops let you go the DIY route, but of course, you can always have them professionally done, such as having concrete poured in place and pre-cast. The amount of personalisation with these benchtops makes them exciting to work with. You can have any style you want, which is why it is easy for concrete trends to stay.
The material is not only durable but lasts for a long time as well. Its strength is from the mixture of cement and sand, making it a “solid” choice. Think about it; concrete has the same components found in the material used in public pathways.
It is true that even though concrete can crack, these flaws can easily be fixed. Sealing the benchtops will also help make them more resistant to scratches, stains, and heat.
Concrete Benchtop Trends You May Want to Emulate
Concrete is far from being perfect. However, it is the perfect representative for rugged aesthetics and patina-personalised look. It is why if you are looking to update the look of your home with some concrete benchtops, here are some of the hottest ways to be in style:
- Vibrantly-Coloured Kitchens Complemented with Concrete BenchtopsImagine a kitchen complete with colourful cabinetry, shiny new appliances, and rubber flooring. In contrast to the vibrant and smooth cabinets, concrete benchtops are placed smartly. The mix of colours and textures makes the kitchen look dazzling.To top it all off, the concrete counters come with a roughened finish that was hand-troweled. You can, of course, pick the texture you want. Even a smooth one can work well. However, if you will place the benchtops close to the cabinetry, you can give the room a boost in quality with the difference between the surfaces.
- A Charcoal Grey KitchenConcrete does not always have to be grey. You can colour concrete so it matches your existing décor. You can DIY the process using a concrete stain or dye, which can be purchased at hardware stores and home centres. Of course, it will be easier and you are guaranteed with the best results if you choose a professional concrete contractor instead.The dye is usually blended in the mixer, along with concrete. This way, there is only one colour when it is poured. The stains are later brushed on the concrete surface, which will change the shade. If you take the DIY route, staining can take about 15 to 20 minutes. However, you will need to wait 24 hours for it to fully cure.With the alteration of concrete design out of the way, you have virtually no reason to think that it is a boring material to work with. Modern kitchens normally stay away from vibrant colours and will use only one but with different shades. For example, a charcoal grey kitchen can work well with concrete that has different shades of grey, such as light grey, silver, and even black and white.
- An Industrial EdgeFunction and style are the two most important qualities of a traditional kitchen. Concrete most definitely gives off an industrial vibe. You can use the benchtops to offset a tile backsplash that you may have in your kitchen. If you have a shaker style cabinet, it can complement benchtops with their classic look. Add in some vintage-inspired lighting that will give your room an even more industrial look.
- Luxurious KitchensAnother huge trend is with concrete benchtops working beautifully with a lavish cooking space. Honed concrete functions best here, especially for kitchens that have a glossy backsplash. You can insert a little bit of colour into space, such as ice blue, which will brighten up the whole room.
- A Honed SurfaceSpeaking of honed surfaces, concrete is quite popular as the material for counters when honed. A design movement is growing and textured surfaces are becoming a top choice. A honed finish provides a matte appearance, yet there is still a little shine. Sometimes, there is no shine, depending on how concrete is processed and the material as well.Honed finishes work great with concrete. The lack of shine can help conceal flaws over time, such as scratches.
- Processing of ConcreteAbove, we have talked about how the process affects the shininess of the finished product. Concrete is often ground, but it can be honed and polished as well. It is essential to determine the process because it can affect the following:
- Colour of reflection
The correct grit sequence should be utilised to gain the full refinement of the surface, whether it is ground, honed, or polished. Full refinement is more than just replacing the pattern that appears as scratches due to the previous grit abrasive. After this replacement, this stage of refinement, a progressively finer abrasive will be used.
The method above is usually performed on concrete flooring. However, it is also applicable to benchtops. This way, they will achieve their maximum durability, causing the surface to avoid premature wear.
- Concrete Counters in BathroomsKitchens are usually where you can find concrete benchtops. However, they are also gaining popularity as a component in the bathroom. The material offers the warmth of the stone. Let us also not forget that concrete is extremely durable. They can be mixed with quartz to enhance the strength and longevity of the benchtops. This way, cracking and other sources of worry will be eliminated.
- Curves and AnglesIncorporating different shapes when it comes to counters makes it easy for them to blend to every corner of the house. It is why they have become a preferred addition to living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and even home offices. You can place concrete counters anywhere.The benchtop does not have to be square or rectangular always. They can also have curves, so you can have them by the corner, allowing other additional elements to take up the extra space. At the same time, it would be incredibly interesting to customise the colour, which matches the current room’s design element.Stained concrete benchtops make the room more interesting to look at, especially when they complement an existing tile or even a swatch of fabric. If you place the counters in the kitchen, they can even be in the same colour group as your favourite piece of china.
- Integrating Built-InsYou may have heard of counters mixed with sinks, soap dishes, trivets, drain boards, and other built-ins. It is possible to have such a design element in your home. You can already imagine how unique it would look. In many cases, these built-ins are even cast from concrete. Therefore, it makes it easy to work with them when you install the counters in the kitchen or any part of your home.
- Earthy and NaturalIf you are a nature lover, you may not want to pass on the chance to make your benchtops represent who you are. Concrete has always been an earthy material. It has that tactile quality, which you can never find in stainless steel or other synthetic surfaces. The material is hand-cast, which gives it subtle variations, whether it is in texture or colour – or both.Concrete is the preferred material of those who want to go to an environment-friendly route. You can use botanical imprints as embellishments, such as leaves, seashells, and even colourful stones. Concrete, unlike many other materials, is eco-friendly because it is not petroleum-based. Synthetic products use petroleum and other non-renewable materials.Concrete benchtops can even be made of recycled materials and natural minerals. For instance, it may be rare but using a byproduct of coal, such as fly ash, can be incorporated with cement, water, and other concrete components.Meanwhile, others use recycled glass, plastic regrinds, metal shavings, and scrap wood. Concrete will not lose its quality and durability despite all these other materials included in the process.
Marble and granite have always been the mainstay material in kitchen and bathroom counters. However, it does not mean they are your only options. Benchtops made of concrete gives you a better choice. With all the trends mentioned above, it is no wonder that concrete countertops can turn an otherwise boring and common room into something more interesting with an updated look.